The holidays aren't a competition. But, if they were, you'd totally want to be the winner in your gift exchange with your other half.
Whether you’ve just started dating, have been together for months, or are just really good friends, it can be challenging picking out the right gift for the right boy.
For every stage in a relationship comes a different level of gifting. You wouldn’t give the guy you’ve been dating for three weeks a picture of you two, kissing in an ‘I Love You’ frame, just as you wouldn’t buy your boyfriend of three years a gift set.
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If thinking about that just made you a little panicky, take a deep breath. We're here to save the day with 12 genius gift ideas so good they'll give Santa a run for his money. As a bonus, you might even want to borrow some of these — with no intention of returning them. And that's how love works, so it's fine.
For Your FRIEND WHO JUST SO HAPPENS TO BE A BOY:
Your best boy friend is always the one to return your calls, give you dating advice, look up to you with respect–and most importantly, the one person your mother is certain is destined for you. He's taught you a lot about how boys work, it's now your turn to teach him the art of self-care.
Gift Set, €25, Kennedy & Co
For when you've been on three VERY promising dates:
If you've only ever hung out two or three times (but for like, six-hour stretches and have tons of chemistry), a simple yet thoughtful book is the perfect way to seal the deal. Books are neutral, yet personal, especially if you truly tap into who they are and what they like.
A History Of Photography by William Johnson, €18.20, Eason
For when you're just hooking up:
Though you guys are no-strings-attached, you probably care about each other outside of sex and you want to convey that in a gift. A quality scented candle is a solid gesture and will make the room you ~share~ all winter a little bit cosier. Bonus: it also melts down to massage oil.
Intensive Skin Treatment Candle Tranquility, €43, Neom
For your friend with benefits:
If you're into them but want to take things outside of the bedroom, an experience gift for two sends a message and might just do the trick. Ideally, you'll want to feel out the situation/talk about feelings before you do this (lest they accept the gift and then take someone else as their date).
Jameson Guided Tour, From €22, Jameson
For when you just defined the relationship:
You've had the talk and you're now officially together-together. So what you get him for your first Christmas together is something he'll remember forever. Concert tickets are the way to go. Get him tickets to his favourite band or artist in a few months time. Not only will it show you've been listening but it'll also show him that you're in this for the long term.
For when you're deep in the honeymoon stage:
Ah, the honeymoon stage, you're still head over heels about one another and you don't care who knows. So what better gift than a quirky camera to document your dates. Whether you post them on Instagram or make a scrapbook, you'll be able to look back on them in years to come and remember those loved-up days.
Instax Mini 9 Camera With 10 Shots, €64.99, Argos
For when you WON'T BE TOGETHER FOR CHRISTMAS:
Long-distance relationships aren't easy but sending each other gifts for Christmas makes it that bit sweeter. Why not keep that feeling going by sending each other frequent letters. Sure, you Whatsapp, Facetime, Snapchat, Instagram DM and Tik-Tok him every day but taking the time out to sit down and write your loved one a letter is kind of the greatest gift you could ever give. Set themes for the month (February is for showing your love, March is to make the other laugh, April is to show support etc.) Be all kinds of extra and spray your letter with perfume so it's like you're there with him.
Peacock Writing Set, €11, Paperchase
For when you've been together a while:
Look, when you're really deep in a relationship, sometimes it's a huge turn-on to pay attention when your S.O. complains about their trainers falling apart or noticing that their current backpack gives them shoulder aches. Getting them something they know they need but aren't excited to spend money on makes their life a little easier, and what's more loving than that?
White and Red Continental 80 Trainers, €94, Adidas
For when you'RE ABOUT TO MOVE IN TOGETHER:
You've both been saving for the practical stuff like a fridge and a dishwasher meaning there's no money left over to buy the cool things you actually want. So for Christmas, buy that cool thing he wants, like a record player (and some of his favourite albums on vinyl if you're feeling spendy). Sure, it might mean beans on toast for Christmas dinner because you can't afford a turkey but we say it's worth it.
Pioneer DJ PL-990 Black Vinyl Record Player, €119, Urban Outfitters
For when you've been living together a while:
Sharing the same place means you get a closer look at their day-to-day life, and the frustrations they may bring home with them. Getting them something that screams self-care, whether it's bath bombs or skincare, is showing that you want to help them feel more relaxed. So start a bath for them, plop something fancy into the water, grab them some wine and their favourite book and leave them alone for an hour (or join if they're into it). They will thank you.
Happy Christmas Set, €30, Lush
For when you'Re recently engaged:
Chances are between telling your friends and family, looking through wedding magazines and wondering how on earth you're ever going to afford a wedding, you and your s.o. probably haven't had the chance to celebrate – just the two of you. Find a sitter, order dinner and pop open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.
Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne, €59.99, Molloys
For when you'Re officially an old married couple:
After a while, the stress of gifting can be relieved if you can find something that not only expresses your love but that you won't mind seeing around the house.
De'Longhi Lattissima Touch Black, €299, Nespresso
Main image by @shawnmendes on Instagram